By Caitlin Graziani, Alex Trafecante and Jacob Peirce
When it comes to live music, more and more people are choosing to stay in rather than go out.
Whether it be the recession, or people not wanting to figure out how to get home from a bar not near their home, house shows seem to be growing in popularity. A house show is an extension of this recent trend on gathering with friends at a house rather than a bar.
A house show, at the most basic level, is when a band is booked to play a show at a house and people come to the house to see the show. This eliminates the need for a venue, large covers and adds a more intimate environment for all involved.
Tatum Storey, a 17 year-old junior at Parkersburg High School is not old enough to go to a bar to see a band, so she decided to bring the band to her. Storey tweeted Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips many times throughout October 2011. She had been tweeting at Coyne with things such as “when the flaming lips came to Nelsonsville I was at band camp. U guys need to come near WV & let me dance on stage or I’ll die,” “Come to west Virginia, or Ohio soon please! I’m begging you!”
Storey eventually got her wish and The Flaming Lips came to play a house show on Halloween for Storey and all of her friends.
“My initial reaction was woooo…I cleaned my friend’s house all day the day before and we made a bunch of purple-colored popcorn,” Storey said.
Storey estimates that there were more than 150 people at the house show, which was in her friend’s basement on Oct. 30 of last year.
Logan Jones most recently played host to Math the Band on April 12. This was not the first time she has hosted a house show.
“I used to live in a tiny apartment, and I hated it. I hated not being able to have people over. So, I got this place and I thought we could have a place to hang up artwork and expose people,” Jones said.
Jones hosted a house show late last year. She doesn’t think that when she moves from where she currently lives that she will stop doing the house shows, but she may choose to do more quiet shows in the future.
“I think its kind of a better deal. Because you pay $5 and you get to drink all night for free. As oppose to paying $5 and buying drinks all night too. It’s a different environment. Its not a clique-y place, everyone kind of mingles together,” Jones said.
Jones is not the only person in Morgantown choosing to open up her home to house shows.
“I starting going to house shows in high school. When I came to Morgantown, I was extremely eager to jump into the scene and see what Morgantown had to offer,” said Courtney Ratliff, a student at West Virginia University.
“I feel that the people involved are trying to create a community and a intimate experience with the artists performing. That’s what it was about for me.”
Ratliff is a local disc jockey in addition to hosting house shows. She no longer lives in a house where she can host house shows. However, she does intend on finding a way to start hosting them again.
House shows are another way that Morgantown and college campus’ alike can bring students together in an intimate environment. Whether the motivation is to save money, stay in or to be up close and personal with the band; house shows will continue to happen as long as someone is opening up their house to them.
“If something goes wrong at least no one paid to get in,” Ratliff said.